Boston Red Sox: Encouraging signs from David Price

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 29: David Price
BOSTON, MA - JUNE 29: David Price /

David Price has been steadily improving with each start, this time helping the Boston Red Sox take down the Minnesota Twins.

Similar to the beauty of a Thomas Kinkade puzzle, the Boston Red Sox had dreams of a picturesque 2017 season.

Once the pieces were dumped out of the box, the Red Sox took a little time to be put together. Getting ready to move into July, the pieces are slowly coming together. Though some pieces are still missing in action–not just hiding under the couch–Boston is making their move as the calendar turns to July.

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And David Price, one of the cornerstones of the pitching staff, is finally showing signs of his once-dominant self.

Price (3-2) pitched seven innings of six-hit ball against the Twins as Boston won the series from Minnesota with a 6-3 victory on Thursday.

He struck out seven in the victory while allowing three runs.

Price has been consistently improving with each start. He hasn’t exactly been mowing down hitters (4.61 ERA, 36 K’s) but the lefty has been doing enough to keep Boston in games. He’s lasted at least five innings in all seven of his starts. Price has battled accuracy, throwing over 100 pitches his last five starts, but has also delivered outs in key situations.

A closer look

In seven starts, Price hasn’t exactly given fans much to be overly excited about. A quick scan of his stats and watching him sometimes labor through six innings say as much.

Looking closer, Price has really only had one bad start since his return from preseason injury. This came in his third start, in which he only lasted five innings, giving up six earned runs on eight hits.

BOSTON, MA – JUNE 24: David Price
BOSTON, MA – JUNE 24: David Price /

Outside of this start, Price’s numbers look fairly up to par. He is 3-1 while posting an ERA of 3.74.

He has walked 15 batters this season, but only one in his last two starts. Twice he has lasted seven innings for the Boston Red Sox, something that is few and far between for starters in this day and age.

A starter’s role diminished

The days of a starting pitcher going seven to nine innings on a regular basis are nearly extinct. A few pitchers out there still do it, are expected to do it, but it’s a rarity for most.

The Red Sox still have two pitchers–possibly three if Rick Porcello finds himself regaining his form–that can do this. Chris Sale is doing it and Price can join him if his trajectory keeps pointing up.

Price threw 230 innings in 2016 while winning 17 games. Workhorses like Price and Sale help prevent exposing weak spots in the bullpen.

Seven innings from a starter followed by Joe Kelly and Craig Kimbrel are a formula Boston needs to follow. It might be a little old school in thinking, but it’s something the Red Sox can take advantage of this season.

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The signs of encouragement from Price are bringing the puzzle closer to completion. Once the offense figures out how to move runners around the bases consistently, the picturesque preseason puzzle will turned into one with a locker room covered in champagne.

And that’s a picture Price would likely be proud to be part of.